After limping through a tough non-region schedule to begin the year, Cambridge opened region play with an opportunity to get off to a fresh start. Thanks to some timely hitting and a clutch pitching performance from Jon Hirschland, they did just that in a game played at Northview's home field Monday night, March 6th.
Things looked promising in the first for the visiting Bears. A two-out walk by Conner Young, followed up by a hard single to right by Hayden Onorato got a runner into scoring position. Bradley Wiedman got hit by a pitch to load the bases, but that was as far as it would go. Bears starter Hirschland allowed a single in the bottom of the first but got out with no issues. A walk and an error for the Bears in the second generated nothing.
Northview loaded the bases in the third on a couple of singles and a walk, but Hirschland coaxed a fly out to center to end that threat. Both teams went out in order in the fourth. Cambridge got a Michael Kolesar single and Sam Waylock walk in the fifth but could not score. Northview put a runner in scoring position in bottom the fifth, but Hirschland got a strikeout to end the threat.
The action finally got good in the seventh. Kolesar put a phenomenal two-strike swing on a fastball and lined a double to the wall in left center to lead off the inning. Sam Waylock came to the plate and laid a beautiful bunt down the third base line and the pitcher threw the ball wildly into the right field corner. Kolesar scored and Waylock ended up at third base on the play with a 1-0 lead. A Northview passed ball scored Waylock to make the score 2-0.
Hirschland came out for the seventh inning and induced a ground out to start the inning. However, a walk and a hit by pitch ended his day as Young entered the game to face Northview's two-hole and three-hole hitters. Young wasted no time going after the first batter, blowing a 2-2 fastball by him for out number two. A swing and a miss curve and a called strike two set up the final pitch, a high fastball that induced a fly ball that landed in the glove of left fielder Christian Lail for the final out of the game and a 2-0 victory for Cambridge.
Hirschland earned the win with a gritty performance, firing 6 1/3 innings of shutout baseball, allowing five hits with seven strikeouts. Young earned his first career save to close out the win. Kolesar led the offense with two hits, including the big double in the seventh with a run scored. Waylock, Young and Onorato had the other hits for Cambridge.
Cambridge continues region play with a home game Wednesday, March 8th against Johns Creek. Game time is 5:55 PM.